Grand Canyon

Last Updated: 7th Jun 2012

<p>by &#8211; <a href="/people/060ff9ffdd0b7a0d613dfa816e329482">Alex McCarty</a>, Tour Manager, North America</p> <p><img src="" class="rightwise" title="grand canyon rim" alt="grand canyon rim" /></p> <p>Words can only hope to describe the vision that is the Grand Canyon. Those who see it for the first time often find themselves at a loss for words, and others still say seeing it for the first time is &#8216;like a religious experience.&#8217;</p> <p>Stretching east to west, like a scar across northern <a href="/contikipedia/articles/arizona">Arizona</a>, this World Heritage Site reads like a diary of the life of Earth itself, like a treasure waiting to be discovered and, like a treasure, the series of canyons are filled with jewels at every turn: around every corner another unforgettable panoramic view, exotic wildlife politely sharing their home with each human visitor and Mother Nature breathing fresh air right into your soul.</p> <p><img src=",_Swimming.JPG" class="rightwise" title="grand canyon swimming" alt="grand canyon swimming" /></p> <p>There are many reasons why 5 million people visit the Grand Canyon National Park each year. That it is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World is not the least of them!</p> <h2>Attractions</h2> <p>Though the Grand Canyon is a bit isolated, the amenities offered inside the park are well appointed and designed to give you as many creature comforts as possible for such a natural setting.</p> <p>Let&#8217;s not forget, you are pretty much in the middle of nowhere! After all, the main attraction is obviously the Canyon itself, and with its miles and miles of trails into its walls and those around its rim it is waiting for your own expedition, your exploration, your discovery.</p> <p>Be careful though, as any Park ranger (and tour manager) will tell you, hike smart or don’t hike at all! If hiking and nature aren&#8217;t your thing, don’t worry. There are plenty of historical landmarks to visit, like the El Tovar (the park’s oldest building, a luxury hotel with great views and a bar), Hopi House (a museum devoted to indigenous people of the Arizona plains) or Kolb Studio (a showroom displaying the work of Emery Kolb, the Grand Canyon&#8217;s most famous photographer), just to name a few.</p> <p>There are, of course, gift shops located at almost every lodge, all featuring authentic Native American arts and crafts, among other items.</p> <h2>Helicopter Flights</h2> <p>Without question one of the most amazing experiences you may ever have is your life is a <a href="/contikipedia/articles/helicopter-flight-grand-canyon">helicopter flight</a> over the canyon, with the opportunity to even land on the bottom of the canyon for a swim and a hike in the simply indescribable beauty of the Havasupai reservation.</p> <p>An <a href="/contikipedia/articles/imax-movie-grand-canyon"><span class="caps">IMAX</span> movie</a> is also offered as an <a href="/contikipedia/articles/optional-excursions">optional excursion</a> for those who prefer to keep their feet on the ground.</p>